Author Archives: Dana

Sweet Potato Black Bean Quesadillas with Chipotle Sour Cream and Asparagus Hominy Salad

Sweet Potato and Black Bean Quesadillas with Chipotle Lime Sour Cream

 

Sweet Potato Black Bean Quesadillas with Chipotle Sour Cream and Asparagus Hominy Salad

Well, this post is long overdue.  Overdue by at least two years, I think.  These sweet potato and black bean quesadillas are one of the cheapest, easiest, most satisfying, and tastiest dinners I make.  At least I think so.  And the fact that you can make the filling ahead of time and make enough for a few dinners, makes for a relatively fast weeknight meal. Continue reading

Coconut Pudding

Fresh Coconut Pudding

Coconut Pudding Coconut Pudding

There are certain perks to living in Hawaii.  Fresh coconut, real homegrown tree-to-bean-to bar chocolate (more on that later), excellent local coffee…. these are some of my favorite things about living in the tropics.  Each weekend I go to the farmers market and drink at least one coconut and eat the meat.  I feel so good afterward.  I have tried all the supplements that are supposed to make you feel fabulous to no avail, drunk coconut water from the supermarket, and did all those health and wellness things…. Seriously, I should have known better.  There was nothing fabulous about any of them.  But, drinking coconut water straight from the coconut – that’s a different story.  It’s invigorating and refreshing.  It really makes me feel good. And it’s a galactagogue to boot! Continue reading

Banana Coconut Bread Slice

Banana Coconut Bread

Banana Coconut BreadBanana Coconut Bread Slice

After 5 years of marriage I learned that my husband likes bananas and will eat one a morning…… good to know after 5 years. Ha! Good grief. But, as it happens, when you buy a bunch of bananas inevitably a few go soft. And when a few go bad you make banana bread (or freeze them for future smoothies). This is the banana bread I came across a few years ago and I truly enjoy it. This bread flavored with nutmeg and rum is top notch. It’s the ladylike version of banana bread. There’s no chocolate chunks, no nuts. No eggs either! The fat comes from a stick of butter and I applied Dan Shepard’s creaming method of incorporating a bit of the flour into the butter before adding the rest of the dry and wet ingredients. It domed beautifully and formed a lovely crackle crust on top from the sprinkle of demerara/turbinado/raw sugar. Continue reading

Asparagus Hominy Salad with Buttermilk Dressing

This recipe is an oldie but a goodie.  I’ve been making it for years – it’s from Heidi Swanson, a genius vegetarian who’s taught me so much.  Spring is the perfect time to make this salad.  It’s an asparagus salad and I found lots of asparagus at the farmers market!  Yay!!!!!

Two things struck me about this salad when I first started making it.  First, hominy.  I’m not sure if I ever had hominy before this salad.  The best hominy is the dried version – when I can, I buy mine from Rancho Gordo.  The dried hominy transforms this salad into extraordinary.  You taste the corn, you taste a slight saltiness from boiling the hominy in salted water….  It’s amazing.  Now, you can use canned and its still a perfectly lovely salad.  In fact I’ve done that here… I was out of dried hominy and I wanted to put my local, seasonal asparagus to good use.  To imitate dried and cooked hominy season it well before adding it to the salad.  I may try leaving it in a salt water solution next time if I don’t have dried.  I can’t let an asparagus season go by without making this salad. Continue reading

yogurt, blueberry, and oatmeal crisp

Earth Day Leftover Oatmeal Crisps

yogurt, blueberry, and oatmeal crisp

Today is Earth Day. However, I like to treat every day like Earth Day. Since moving to Hawaii the need to reduce my consumption and produce less trash has become even more evident. It wasn’t until I moved here that it hit home where “away” is. We throw stuff “away”…. where is away? Hawaii is “away”. Most beaches along the Pacific rim are “away”. Walk along the stunning beaches and you’ll quickly discover that the sand is littered with broken bits of plastic. It comes from every imaginable source – toys, bottles, toothpaste caps and floss, straws – anything that’s made of plastic is winding up on the beach. These gorgeous, ecologically diverse beaches….. It’s even more disconcerting when gigantic fishing nets wash ashore. They bring with them straggled marine life – each net weighs thousands of pounds. If you live some place landlocked you don’t see this, but you probably have a landfill near you and sometimes you can smell the refuse.   Plastic use and throwing away food are two of the biggest kitchen involved environmental blights we can easily diminish. Continue reading

The Sweeter Side of Ricotta – Two Ways – Lacy Brown Butter Cookies and Coffee and Ricotta Marbled Cake

I fault Stella Parks.  It’s 100% on her.  She posted some cookies she mistakenly made with browned butter and ricotta.  They really looked good….so I went out and bought ricotta, I couldn’t help it….. oh holy heck, these cookies are addictive.  You won’t be able to stop eating them.  I sure couldn’t. My son couldn’t.  My mom could but that’s because she has incredible will power and there were already four hands on the cookie plate and we were way too fast.  They didn’t last long, not even a day. Continue reading

A New Way With Broccoli – Rigatoni with Roman Broccoli Sauce

I’m not always a broccoli lover.  I certainly wasn’t when I was pregnant.  Too pungent.  But, I’m liking this broccoli dish – it’s subtle, but tasty.  Bright with added lemon zest.

I came across it in Milk Street, the Christopher Kimble spinoff of America’s Test Kitchen.  I have to tell you, I’m loving that magazine – it’s my current favorite food magazine and I was never a big fan of ATK. Continue reading

For the Love of Buttermilk – Fried Okra and Cornbread

I recently, and somewhat unfortunately, discovered that buttermilk really does make all the difference in recipes. I used to sour regular milk with vinegar or lemon juice and call it a day. I thought it really only made a difference in texture when it came to fine cakes, but for everything else, soured milk was fine. I was wrong. And while that’s great to know, it’s something that’s hard to find and keep on hand in my current location. I’m both jazzed and a little dismayed. But, I made the best fried okra and cornbread ever this weekend and it was mostly thanks to buttermilk. Continue reading

Cinnamon Rolls

Happy Christmas!  I just spent the morning baking off some cinnamon rolls for a friend who’s in town.  I can’t convey the joy I feel seeing an old friend, which of course is making me cry.  In a lifestyle where people come and go and family and friends are far away, I get to see a friend who I’ve known for over ten years.  Which isn’t even that long, but it is in my world.  Please don’t get me wrong, I’ve made some new friends who are a permanent part of my life now.  I love them dearly and I’m so grateful that I met them.  But, it’s so nice to see old friends too.  It’s making my Christmas. Continue reading